Useful Tips For Cleaning Up Silica-Rich Diatomaceous Earth Powder


Diatomaceous earth may be an incredibly versatile substance with many useful benefits, but it can be incredibly difficult to clean up at times.

If you’ve ever used diatomaceous earth to deal with an insect infestation around your home, you’ll know how hard it is to draw the fine chalky particles out of your carpet and bedding. Diatomaceous earth, or DE, has the propensity to drift under appliances and furniture or between cracks and crevices, which can sometimes make cleaning frustrating.

Fortunately there are a few tips and tricks that can help with cleaning up diatomaceous earth. In this article we’ve collected the best methods for cleaning up DE to help you tidy up faster and with less effort.

Cleaning DE From Hard Surfaces

Removing diatomaceous earth from hard floors like tiles or floorboards is simple and easy when compared to carpeted surfaces. These methods can also be used for countertops, furniture, walls, and bathroom surfaces.

The Damp Towel Method

Cleaning diatomaceous earth from hard, non-porous surfaces is as easy as gathering a damp towel and wiping it across the surface you’d like to clean, in the same manner as you would clean a flour spill.

The diatomaceous earth will stick to the towel and make cleaning up simple. To remove this DE from your home, simply hang it outside until it dries, shaking vigorously when all moisture is gone to remove the DE.

You may want to wash the towels you use for this purpose separately from your clothes for a few washes after cleaning to ensure the DE doesn’t get back into your clothing. After several washes it will be fine to add them into normal washing loads.

The Sweeping Method

To clean diatomaceous earth from large regions of hard floor, simply find a broom or brush and sweep the diatomaceous earth you’d like to clean up into a central pile.

Once you’ve collected all of the DE, gather it with a dustpan and place it in a bin outside. After sweeping, be sure to mop the floor to gather any leftover DE particles. You can even recycle the water used to mop DE as a fertilizer for your garden

Carpets, Fabric and Rugs

Diatomaceous earth is more commonly distributed over carpeted surfaces and rugs, as these are the surfaces in which insect pests such as fleas and bed bugs residue.

Vacuuming is generally the best method for removing diatomaceous earth from these surfaces, but there are several factors to consider before getting stuck into built-up diatomaceous earth with your home vacuum.

The fine particles that make up diatomaceous earth powder can strain older or weaker home vacuum motors, potentially burning them out. To avoid this, consider the following two methods:

Hire a Shop Vac or Industrial Vacuum

Hiring a shop vac or industrial vacuum, while not exactly cheap, can be far more cost effective than destroying your home vacuum with DE particles.

Local hardware stores generally offer a shop vac hire service at a fraction of the price of a new vacuum. Shop vacs have a powerful suction capacity and if you’ve used DE to remove an insect infestation they’re great for removing their tiny corpses from your carpet.

Use a Filterless Vacuum

The incredibly hard, sharp and abrasive properties of diatomaceous earth powder can annihilate a vacuum filter in seconds. If you can’t find a shop vac or industrial vacuum, your next best option is to use a filterless vacuum.

If you’re able to use your home vacuum without a filter it can also fill this function, but be sure to set the vacuum to a low suction level and let it cool down every few minutes to prevent burn outs. Filtered vacuums can be used in a worst-case scenario, but be sure to clean the filter regularly during cleaning.

When All Else Fails

If you’re struggling to remove stubborn diatomaceous earth from your home with any of the above methods, you may want to consider hiring a professional rug cleaning service. Professional rug and carpet cleaners possess high capacity industrial vacuums that are able to completely remove all traces of diatomaceous earth from your home.

Finally, always be sure to use the correct safety gear when handling or cleaning diatomaceous earth. While diatomaceous earth is completely non toxic, it can irritate eyes, sinuses and the respiratory tract if inhaled. Always wear safety goggles, gloves and a dust mask to ensure you’re adequately protected.

Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:

We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:

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